President Praises Barasso’s Highway Bill At State Of The Union
During last night's State Of The Union address, Febuary 5th, 2020, the president called Senator John Barasso's name and the camera's turned to the senator in acknowledgement of his highway bill.
America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 includes key provisions for the nation's infrastructure. It is the largest highway bill in history, to make repairs to the nations crumbling highway systems.
• Reduce the federal regulatory burden on WYDOT, including eliminating federal congestion data collection requirements on low population rural states like Wyoming, that do not have significant congestion.
• Ensure projects get built faster by establishing a 2-year goal for completion of environmental reviews and provide for a single environmental document and record of decision to be signed by all participating agencies.
• Allow the Secretary of the Interior to expedite the permitting of gathering lines for oil and gas wells on federal land and, with tribal consent, Indian lands. Gathering lines reduce venting, flaring, and other emissions of methane. They also take heavy-duty truck traffic off the roads. This means more revenue for Wyoming, fewer emissions of methane, carbon dioxide, black carbon and other pollutants into the environment, and safer roads for communities nearby oil and gas fields.
• Protect Wyoming’s share of highway formula dollars, and increase the overall amount of Wyoming’s formula share to more than $1.6 billion over five years. This will provide funding flexibility and certainty for WYDOT to deliver critical road and bridge projects throughout the state.
• Provide an additional $1.65 billion in new transportation project grant money over 5-years for rural areas and guarantees $247 million for small projects.
• Ensure that critical Western interstate interchange projects such as the new I-25, I-80 interchange outside of the city of Cheyenne receive prioritization under INFRA.
• Provide $250 million in funding for a nation-wide pilot program to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and construct wildlife crossing structures.
• Provide Wyoming more new formula funding to protect roads and bridges from natural disasters such as wildfires and rockslides and extreme weather events such as flooding.
• The bill sets aside $100 million over five years to for tribal bridge projects.
• The bill authorizes $250 million out of the Highway Trust Fund and $1.5 billion from the general fund for the construction, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of nationally-significant transportation projects and facilities within, adjacent to, or accessing Federal and tribal lands.